Lexington, Ky. – As the 2019 edition of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN (LRK3DE) got underway Thursday with the first half of the dressage phase, it would be Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z as the highest-placed U.S. combination in contention for the Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship Presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN. Sitting second overall in the LRK3DE on a score of 30.9, Halliday-Sharp (Ocala, Fla.) chased the overall top spot of the event behind Switzerland’s Felix Vogg and Colero. Fellow U.S. competitor Buck Davidson (Reddick, Fla.) and Park Trader sit third overall and second in the national championship on a score of 32.1.
The second half of dressage will continue on Friday, April 26, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST and streamed on the USEFNetwork, with Lauren Kieffer and Paramount Importance first down centerline.
“I was really, really pleased with Deniro Z,” said Halliday-Sharp of The Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties’ 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. “This is [Deniro Z’s] second five-star, his first time at [the LRK3DE]. It is never easy being third to go; it’s so early on. I really felt that he gave me everything he has. … I am thrilled with the horse. He gave me everything. He was perfect in the atmosphere and he really pushed on the trot work.”
When asked how she was feeling headed into Deniro Z’s second five-star event and her confidence in their performance at the LRK3DE, Halliday-Sharp replied, “Obviously, it is great to have had a really great season, and all my horses have really been on fire. Deniro [Z] has felt great. He has come out and done every run the best that he can. I think that is probably the thing that gives me the most confidence coming in here, knowing that he has been feeling great and relaxed … that is probably the most important thing, knowing the horse you are sitting on and feeling prepared.”
Watch Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z’s LRK3DE dressage test here.
Davidson and Park Trader, Carl and Cassandra Segal’s 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, put in a nice, clean test in their sixth LRK3DE together. “He is really maturing and getting better,” said Davidson. “[Park Trader] did as well as he can possibly do. He did all four flying changes as well as he can; he made no mistakes. I’m very happy with that score and not that disappointed to be on a 32.1 headed into the next phase.”
With two horses in the top five, Davidson also currently sits in fifth with Jak My Style, Roberto and Kathleen Cuca’s 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding.
Leading the LRK3DE overall in his debut appearance at the event, Felix Vogg (SUI) and Colero, an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Jürgen Vogg, put in the best performance of the day. As the only combination to break the twenties, they finished the dressage phase on a score of 28.0. All three leading combinations will have a day off on Friday as the dressage phase comes to a conclusion, looking to their cross-country runs on Saturday.
Competition continues on Friday with the second half of dressage, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST. Dressage draw lists can be found here.
On Saturday, combinations will contest Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games course designer Derek di Grazia’s highly technical cross-country course for the eighth year at the LRK3DE. The first combination will leave the start box at 10:30 a.m. EST. On Sunday, the third and final phase of jumping will see combinations look to conquer Richard Jeffery’s course as they seek the LRK3DE and Land Rover/CCI5* Eventing National Championship presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN titles beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Start times are subject to change, so please visit the LRK3DE website for updated ride times, schedule of events, and scoring.
For pillar-to-post coverage of the LRK3DE, tune into the USEF Network. The live stream will broadcast worldwide. Not a US Equestrian member? Sign up for a free fan membership using promo code LRK3DE19 to access the stream.
For viewers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, and Australia watch the coverage on Horse & Country TV. Sign up to watch here.
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